Three major news outlets are pursuing a story involving a witness who claims to have overheard Roger Stone telling Donald Trump about DNC emails stolen by Russian hackers before WikiLeaks made those emails public. It’s not yet known who the witness is, or how credible this story is. However, Stone is already preemptively lashing out at it in detail – and giving something away in the process.
Roger Stone posted a brief video to his Instagram page this evening, claiming that the New York Times, Washington Post, and New Yorker have been pursuing this story. In Stone’s words: “Someone is saying that they overheard a conversation in which I told Donald Trump in October of 2016 what exactly would be in the WikiLeaks disclosures and when they would be disclosed. This is categorically false.” This is also an oddly specific denial.
There are only two reasons for Roger Stone to go public with this claim right now. The first is that it’s credible, and he believes it’s about to be published, and he’s trying to get out ahead of it by preemptively disputing it. The second possibility is that Stone is making this entire thing up, and there is no witness – and he’s trying to scare Donald Trump into thinking that there is a witness, in the hope Trump will try to bail him out.
This comes shortly after Roger Stone claimed in an interview that Donald Trump Jr is about to be indicted for lying to the FBI. As Palmer Report explained at the time, there is no corroborating evidence to support Stone’s assertion, and it’s possible Stone simply made this up to try to scare Trump into believing that he’d better act quickly to stop the investigation. Now Stone is making an oddly specific denial about a witness who could testify that Trump was in on a treasonous plot. Whether Stone is telling the truth or lying, this means something big is afoot here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report